vkeong’s Top 21 Food in 2008

Throughout the year 2008, I have blogged over 100 food related entries. Bak kut teh, dim sum, sushi, shabu shabu, Korean BBQ, steamboats, buffets, steaks, hawker food.. You name it, I got it. So, I thought it would be interesting to list the top 21 either most memorable or nicest food I had in my humble opinion. Clicking on the images would bring you to the post itself.

21. Sushi Zanmai, Sunway Pyramid


In year 2007, Sakae Sushi was my favorite sushi joint. Now, it has been overtaken by Sushi Zanmai.

20. Matsuki Japanese Restaurant, Cantonment Road

chicken teriyaki

The teriyaki sauce is so thick and tasty, you will feel that you are getting your money’s worth. Other restaurants would be stingy and pan fry the chicken with more oil.. making the dish watery and lack of taste. I didn’t really believe it when told it was this good.. but yeah it’s true.

19. Nagomi Shabu Shabu, Menara Hap Seng

kobe beef shabu shabu

Kobe Beef really lives up to its reputation and price tag, it is simply a heavenly meat with unmatched flavor and tenderness. Because they are sliced thinly enough, they usually cook within seconds in the boiling broth.

18. Abang Is’ Malay Char Koay Teow, Bukit Mertajam

malay char koay teow

Bukit Mertajam is the place where this variant of char koay teow originated. It is so well received that many have taken the opportunity to setup their own char koay teow stalls in Penang. The many cockles and prawns are the biggest contributor to the koay teow’s tastiness.

17. Lebuh Acheh Beef Soup Koay Teow

beef soup koay teow

This is definitely the place for the best beef soup koay teow in Penang. You will regret if you didn’t try, no joke. And most Penangites refer this as the one “opposite balai bomba”. The other things I like are the tendons, tripe (soft jelly texture, nice) and thinly sliced beef which are cooked by quickly dipping them in the boiling soup.

16. Eel Fish Ball Noodle, Heng Seng Kopitiam

unagi fish ball soup

The noodle here was awarded one of the best street food in Penang. You could see the news being shown in the poster put up in front of the stall. It is a pity that Heng Seng’s Eel fish ball noodle does not receive as much publicity compared to other Penang hawker food. Because after Googling around I only found a few food bloggers who mentioned this place. Well I think they really deserve more.

15. Ngau Kee Beef Noodle, Tengkat Tong Shin

beef noodles

I hate to admit this, but Ngau Kee’s beef noodles taste nicer compared to Penang’s beef koay teow.. especially the dried one. Really hou hou sek. The beef soup is thick and flavorful, and the minced meat is just awesome.

14. Fong Keow Bak Kut Teh, Klang

fong keow bak kut teh

I look for tender and fresh meat, herbal thick and sweet soup in a good claypot of Bak Kut Teh. And Fong Keow doesn’t disappoint. Pork ribs were actually given, which made me a happier man lol.

13. CAFF Italian Fusion Restaurant, Bandar Puteri Puchong

oven baked escargots

My first time having escargots. It was also here I tasted one of the nicest Caesar Salad. I am really glad I fulfilled my curiosity about baked escargots after seeing it being featured in 8TV’s Hochak. Other food is good too and reasonably priced.

12. Toast Bread & Half Boiled Eggs, Joo Leong Cafe

toast bread set

The toasted breads are done in a very original and nostalgic way, with only a layer of butter spread on top. A bottle of castor sugar is provided to let you sprinkle all the sugar you like on the toasted pieces. So they are both salty and sweet. Breakfast like this is a great way to start the day!

11. Lorong Seratus Tahun Curry Mee

curry mee

Although said to be not as great as the good old times, for me this curry mee is memorable to me for dark chili sauce you just couldn’t get enough of.

10. Fancy Mee Corner Pan Mee & Dumplings, Wangsa Maju


I am not a big fan of pan mee. But a try at Fancy Mee Corner totally changed my mind and I am actually actively looking for good pan mee now!

9. Tak Fok Seafood Restaurant, Kepong

cheese baked crab

Cheap and tasty crabs available at Tak Fok. At first I thought it’d seem weird to eat crab with cheese and butter, but the combination turned out fantastic! The cheese flavor is not too strong, just nice to compliment the sweetness of the crab meat. Breaking and peeling off the shells carefully off the huge claw, dip the meat generously into the melted cheese and butter. And then eat it in one mouth full. Fuyoooh!!

8. Mee Goreng Jalil, Sungai Ara

mee goreng sungai ara

One of the undiscovered good Mee Goreng in Penang, fried with the crispiest and best prawn fritter.

7. Sake Room Sushi & Lounge, Seberang Jaya

unagi roll

A must try for Japanese food lovers in Penang. Sake Room’s chef, Melissa’s talented cooking would surely make you come back for more. The restaurant owners are one of the friendliest and nicest bunch too.

6. Puchong Yong Tau Fu, Puchong


Yong Tau Fu has never appealed to me, until I found Puchong Yong Tau Fu. Honestly I was quite surprised that tofu pok can taste so good lol.

5. Chicken Cuisine Curry Laksa, Glenmarie Shah Alam

curry mee

Where you can add ingredients to create your very own bowl of curry laksa. Very recommended if you like thick, rich and spicy curry laksa.

4. Yap Beng Dry Bak Kut Teh, Equine Park

dry bak kut teh

Although a branch of Yap Chuan Bak Kut Teh, the standards are the same. If you like your Dry Bak Kut Teh to be really dry, this is the place to go. Another thing I like about eating here is that they will also provide Bak Kut Teh soup if you order the dry one only. You don’t even have to ask, they will surely bring a small bowl for you. And soup refill is free of charge.

3. O & S Prawn Mee, Petaling Jaya


Taste wise, it is awesome! The soup is really cooked faithfully according to Penang’s style, a bit sweet and full of prawny flavor. Just a sip of the soup immediately brought back memories of another good prawn mee I used to have when I was small.

2. Kam Hin Dim Sum Restaurant, Jalan Kuchai Lama


By far, the best dim sum restaurant for me. I have tried the famed dim sum at Ipoh but I can conclude that Kam Hin wins on the variety of dim sum, portion, tastiness and value.

1. Yap Chuan Dry Bak Kut Teh, Puchong

dry bak kut teh

Dry Bak Kut Teh has been on my must-try-list of 2008. And I found it in Puchong. Pork cooked using Bak Kut Teh’s herbs and spices are added into a clay pot of dried chilis, fried cuttlefish and lady’s finger. Oyster sauce and dark soya sauce are also added for the flavor and color. The meat is spicy and absorbed the fragrance of the herbs, spices and cuttlefish completely. RM9 for single serving, very nice! For its awesome taste, Dry Bak Kut Teh has become an addiction for me!

Did you go through the list? You did? Wow, you’re great! Before I end the last post for 2008, there’s one last thing I want to say.. I always have a feeling that there are a lot of readers who have been following my blog anonymously without leaving a comment.
So, no matter if you’re a friend of mine, a forumer from Lowyat.net, a stranger or someone who just stumbled on my blog today.. I hope you would do me a favor by leaving me a comment, even though if it’s only a “Hi”. Thank you for supporting my blog and Happy New Year!

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Comments 36

  1. Alan

    Great stuff, hope you can share more re the locations, maps, etc so others can find those places you mentioned here easily. Keep up the good works, God bless you!!!

    vk: Hi Alan, thanks for your suggestion. I admit that’s a shortcoming in my blog.. I am not too good in direction lol. I hope I can do better in my future posts

  2. Nate

    All beautiful, but the Bak Kut Teh pics are really making me salivate!

    Here’s to a fat new year!

    vk: “Fat” in terms of wealth is ok, not body fat lah, lol. Happy new year!

  3. 550ml jar of faith

    Great round-up post! Reminds me of things I’ve put in my list that I haven’t gotten around to yet. This goes on my 2009 new year resolution list now! :-) Happy New Year!

    vk: This post was a last minute idea.. lol. Happy New year!

  4. truff

    been following your blog since i came to penang a month ago. great guide for my food search! anyhow, can i have more detailed descriptions on how to get to Joo Leong Cafe, say from bayan baru?

    vk: Hi truff, the direction to Joo Leong Cafe from Bayan Baru eh.. let’s start from Giant ok. In front of Giant is a cross junction with four traffic lights right? Go straight from there towards Bayan Lepas industrial area. At the T junction to Bayan Lepas, take your right turn and go straight, this way is like how you would go to the airport. Along the road, look for The Star’s office on your right. Once you spot it, you need to slow down and keep an eye on your left. Joo Leong cafe is somewhat hidden from the road and you will need a good eye to spot it.

    Good luck!

  5. kokweng

    why top 21 and not any other numbers ah? from your list, i’ve only tried sushi zanmai, both at sunway pyramid and the gardens… have you tried zanmai pasta at MV? it’s lovely…

    aiyor…20 more to go…next should be kam hin la…nearby…

    kokweng’s last blog post..Christmas 2008 at Ikano Power Centre

    vk: 21 because that’s the number of food I really think made the cut :P Pasta Zanmai I tried before lo, but I had it at 1 Utama. Emm.. nice is nice but pricey lo haha. I tried it like 4-6 months ago and I haven’t blogged about it yet, omg.

  6. Elaine

    Happy New Year to you too, vkeong !! Your blog is one of my favorite. Good review with price tagged as well (most important is price ! ), good food, good pictures… and it’s certainly the first blog I visit before I started building my own… !

    Elaine’s last blog post..Happy New Year 2009 !!

  7. laukl

    Thanks for sharing your top lists. Fantastic food. Being a Penangite myself, I was wondering why no other char koay teow made it to your list apart from the Malay char koay teow?

    vk: Hi laukl, that’s because I moved to Selangor early last year.. so I didn’t really get any chances of trying good Penang char koay teow after that. I am planning to visit a few CKT stalls in Penang this coming CNY.. Hope it would be fruitful

  8. truff

    hi, it was pretty easy to find actually..hehe…i’ve guessed it must be the place when i spotted a long queue of cars by the road side (like you mentioned). and the toast, yah, no doubt its really good! the nasi lemak they serve is good too, the one with fish (my first time having nasi lemak served with fish curry/sambal).

    anyway thanks for the recommendation!

    vk: No problem, glad you liked it

  9. laukl

    I see… Btw, there is another good Malay CKT in Perai located just along the road leading to Sunway Hotel. The name of the stall is Keys. They have a big sign board. Do give it a try when you are back. Happy blogging…

    vk: I believe I have seen that stall :) May I ask is it only open at night? Thanks!

  10. Scoreyew

    i had been following your blog for quite a while i find it’s worth to run through,jazz up more good food of malaysia espeacially hawker food & dessert of penang.at present hawkering in austin height,johor char koay teow stall station at soon tuck restaurant introducing penang good food.i ‘m a food lover.thank…..

  11. passerby

    great blog, i am gonna go and try some of those good looking food there!

    thanx for all the great reviews and hard effort!

  12. Cheezy

    Hey, I stumbled upon your blog when I was trying to intro the famous foods in malaysia to a friend from oversea..haha…you really help in boosting up the tourism of malaysia yea..Now you really make me homesick especially during this festive season….VKeong blog rocks big time..Cheerz! =D

  13. Ayu

    Hi VK! Your blog is wonderful!! Seeing all the photos n your reviews, i wish i’m in M’sia now. Really miss M’sian food. Good effort there – putting halal n non-halal categories. Good luck n keep on blogging!! : )

    Ayu’s last blog post..February 2

  14. falen

    I googled malaysian food blog for a sneak preview of what my food trip would look like when i go to singapore and malaysia this november, and voila! first on the list is your blog.. great reviews vk! i see the pics and i drool lol i hope this trip would be as enjoyable as i think it would be or better yet, surpass the expectation =) keep up the good work =)

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